Sunday, 12 July 2015

at the park bench off the beaten path

the park bench off the beaten path
     is haunted with spectral secrets
they swirl and float in breezes and gusts
     and tumble in phantom, stardust ripples
whispering of furtive dreams and clandestine love

secrets trodden with cigarette butts –
     grinded into the filth and muck of lies
and dirty deals or hung in bleak blue sadness
     like a cursèd shroud of misery, that only the most 
beaten down – off the beaten path – can recognize

folly and frailty, desperation and loneliness
     cut the air with the reaper’s scythe 
as blythe spirits pass by and, occasionally sit
     to rest a bit, or munch, dully … 
nibbling their way through a brown-bag lunch

some secrets hide in unseen teardrop stains
     and doomed crumbled-wrung kleenex remains 
some have been swept away on last-chance winds
     or litter the ground, like empty feral coffee cups 
crushed or rolling round … ragged and tossed ...

at the park bench off the beaten path

note:  posted for Poets United. 

photo:  Park Bench - W. Bourke 

© 2015 Wendy Bourke


  1. So many stories that intersected there at the park bench, for a brief bit of time at least. People waiting for others, people leaving alone, together. I bet it could tell wholr volumes.

  2. This is such a vivid piece! You have created a very real atmosphere here about the park bench.. I have goosebumps! Well penned :D

    Lots of love,

  3. What a pleasant read, amazing indeed. Greetings!

  4. So much living goes on around a park bench and you have captured all the possibilities.

  5. So much can be seen if one travels off the beaten path. And so many secrets will never be revealed! So much 'atmosphere' in this poem, Wendy.

  6. Ah that park bench indeed holds a secret or much could happen in this place and I wonder about the mystery of this bench...

    1. I live in a place with a lot parks and a lot of park benches and - believe me - some of the paraphernalia I've spotted around a few of those benches really does leave one imagining the reaper’s scythe cutting through the air. Very, very sad.

  7. Or maybe a poet or two sat there and wrote the most beautiful poem... so interesting to contemplate how lives intersect!

  8. As luck would have it, it's windy here just now, which helped me to notice, as I was reading, the way the sounds of your words seem to echo the gusts of wind you describe.

  9. you've made this park bench so alive almost ready to tell the tales woven around it...

  10. I think that a lot of things happen of the beaten tracks, and we can sometimes see the traces that remain. Maybe those areas are needed to let off some steam, but I would probably not go there.

  11. So many people must have sat on that bench and discussed myriad things, indeed a heap of secrets on the bench.

  12. Wendy I love how you bring this simple, often passed by park bench to life as if it could talk and tell its secrets....fabulous lines here!

  13. Park benches hold in their soul many a story..thank you for sharing a few of them with us...

  14. So easy, it seems, for you to take some object or everyday scene and then build a fascinating poem around it. I enjoyed reading about this bench's tales!

  15. "spectral secrets" Nicely detailed with clues and wonder. I wish I had written this!

  16. I think you captured it! :-)

  17. Great poem the feeling is of secrets for certain.

  18. I want to sit there and imagine what happened ~ You took us right there Wendy, thanks ~

  19. Wendy--This pulled me in--and kept me there--so much that we never see I think--great write!